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knives, whet stones, sharpening - an update and some questions - Page 2

post #31 of 36
Thread Starter 

@Lenny

I put quite a  wide line on the edge, probably about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cm wide or so.

This way I can see exactly how much (how wide) I've been grinding.

 

So far I've been sticking to the factory settings. Now I'll just have to see how long the knives stay sharp etc.

 

As a precaution, I've put my knives in my room for the time being as I'm staying with my dad. He's used to sharp knives and he knows what I'm up to, but if someone else picks those knives up.......

Just don't wanna have to rush of to the hospital with someone's fingertip in a plastic bag

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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post #32 of 36

Reading this post makes me want to take out all my knives and go nuts!

Checking with magnifier is a great idea..

I've heard Masaharu Morimoto runs his knife across his thumb nail to check the sharpness.  I don't think my knives will pass.

post #33 of 36

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by LennyD View Post

 

Am I reading this correctly that it may actually be better not only to sharpen in the mud that develops from contact between the knife and stone, but also the mud that is full of steel that has been removed from the blade can also be a benefit?

 

I guess this idea of leaving all the mud and swarf on the stone would be something I would need to work at since I have been trying to use the mud as much as possible, and then once it was full of steel particles I would just utilize the entire length of the stone for grinding the edge, and that would normally push or pull the mud off the end of the stone (and all the steel with it as well)

 

Please let me know if I got this right as I am sure I am not the only one thinking WTF and that depending on the stone it may be better to fully utilize the entire length, others may do better with some mud, and others yet may perform best with trying to actually sharpen through the steel filled swarf?

 


Yes, that's correct. It is indeed confusing.

 

What you're currently doing -- using the mud until it fills with swarf -- is by far the most usual approach with synthetic stones. People who don't like mud buy harder stones and don't worry about this. The only person I know of who absolutely insists on keeping the mud even with swarf is using high-end natural stones and is a world-class expert sharpener and stone appraiser working in Kyoto. I do not know his opinion on this matter as regards synthetics.

 

My feeling is that you simply have to figure out what works best for you, with what stones, with what knives. There are no absolutes here that I know of. My general opinion, however, is that there is something of a spectrum, based on four factors: bevel size, steel quality, stone fineness, stone quality.

 

Thus if you are sharpening a gyuto, with relatively coarse steel, on a medium-grit stone, and it's a medium-quality synthetic (e.g. a King), you would probably be best rinsing often. If you are sharpening an usuba, of extremely fine steel, on a very fine polishing stone, and it's a high-grade natural, you would rinse rarely if ever.

 

But I think that spectrum, even if I have defined it reasonably accurately, admits of enormous variation, so try things and see what works best for you with your knives.

post #34 of 36


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by butzy View Post

@Lenny

I put quite a  wide line on the edge, probably about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cm wide or so.

This way I can see exactly how much (how wide) I've been grinding.

 

So far I've been sticking to the factory settings. Now I'll just have to see how long the knives stay sharp etc.

 

As a precaution, I've put my knives in my room for the time being as I'm staying with my dad. He's used to sharp knives and he knows what I'm up to, but if someone else picks those knives up.......

Just don't wanna have to rush of to the hospital with someone's fingertip in a plastic bag



I usually try to only mark the edge as wide as it actually is with the marker. That way if it is all ground away I know I got the angle the same as OEM, and if it is still showing in spots I know where  I am missing and if the blade is being held too high or low etc.

 

It is funny because it can actually be a little tough to hold the maker evenly against the edge without making the mark wider or thinner than the edge itself.

 

Now finger tips in  a plastic bag are a real concern, and hope it does not come to that ooooouch!

 

I am no pro at this either and I figure as long as you can get sharper knives or better results as time goes on then your doing something right, but know very well that those very same improvements while a motivator are also evidence that we all were not really doing it right previously either lol.

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

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"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #35 of 36


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisLehrer View Post

 


Yes, that's correct. It is indeed confusing.

 

What you're currently doing -- using the mud until it fills with swarf -- is by far the most usual approach with synthetic stones. People who don't like mud buy harder stones and don't worry about this. The only person I know of who absolutely insists on keeping the mud even with swarf is using high-end natural stones and is a world-class expert sharpener and stone appraiser working in Kyoto. I do not know his opinion on this matter as regards synthetics.

 

My feeling is that you simply have to figure out what works best for you, with what stones, with what knives. There are no absolutes here that I know of. My general opinion, however, is that there is something of a spectrum, based on four factors: bevel size, steel quality, stone fineness, stone quality.

 

Thus if you are sharpening a gyuto, with relatively coarse steel, on a medium-grit stone, and it's a medium-quality synthetic (e.g. a King), you would probably be best rinsing often. If you are sharpening an usuba, of extremely fine steel, on a very fine polishing stone, and it's a high-grade natural, you would rinse rarely if ever.

 

But I think that spectrum, even if I have defined it reasonably accurately, admits of enormous variation, so try things and see what works best for you with your knives.


Chris,

 

Well most of this has been confusing, but I think that is also part of making it interesting as well :)

 

Since I am still using a combination of very different stones and silicon carbide papers I am getting varying amounts of mud and even none.

 

The glass stone though very hard seems to produce a certain amount of mud, but since it is much less than the arashiyama I had not given it much thought to "working it", but on the Arashiyama which is a 6k I have found I was looking to work the mud more even when not thinking about it.

 

I think what is true about the last sentence of your post is also what is where the confusion comes from for a newbie as without more experience it is really hard to know if what you think is best actually is.

 

Have to admit that it does seem to become more obvious as you get more time on the stones similar to how angle, sharpness, and pressure do so I guess it is just another part of the whetstone learning curve.

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply

 

"love my country" but "fear my government"  Something is just wrong with this

 

 

 

Looking for info on entry level J-knives? Need help on finding the most bang for your buck? Hope you enjoy learning from the info here, I know I did!

http://www.cheftalk.com/t/63213/tojiro-dp-f-809-240mm-g...

Reply
post #36 of 36

A glass-stone is a great example of something for which mud is a null.  An Arashiyama is all about mud. You have pretty much the extremes of the equation, and I suspect this is causing you some of these problems.

 

Some people like mud, some people hate it. People who hate mud gravitate toward the glass-stone end of things. People who like mud gravitate toward the Arashiyama end of things. Kings are dead in the middle: they produce a little mud, and it's a good thing, but it's neither so much that haters get into the hating, nor so little that the lovers can't fall in love. That's why Kings are so great --- and so sort of neutral.

 

I think you need to see what works for you. It turns out, I love mud, but the Arashiyama drives me bonkers because it just doesn't want to get its act together without ten years of soaking. What I want is a muddy stone that soaks up in 30 minutes. On the other hand, a really slick, non-muddy stone bugs me, because I can't tell what I'm doing without feeling the blade constantly. This is why Choceras are good for me: I get lots of feedback, I know what's happening, mud is present, and they don't soak too long. But they cost a fortune, and frankly if I hadn't bought them for a ridiculous fraction of what they cost in the US, I'd probably resent them.

 

Fortunately, stones don't last forever. When they start wearing down to nothing, ask yourself which you'll really miss. If it's the Arashiyama, turns out you like mud. If it's the GS, you don't like mud. Buy your next stones on that basis. In the meantime, these stones are all good, so don't sweat it: you're learning to sharpen very well on excellent stones, so if you develop bad habits like mine, it's your own darn fault (as it is mine).

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